Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Best of Spring 2012

Originally published in the CJLO Magazine.


Top New Releases March-May

1. The Men - Open Your Heart (Sacred Bones Records)
2. Dry Feet - 10 Songs by the Band... (Burger Records)
3. Parlovr - Kook Soul (Dine Alone Records)
4. King Tuff – King Tuff (Sub Pop)
5. La Sera - Sees the Light (Hardly Art)

Favourite Release this Spring

With only one listen, I immediately knew that Open Your Heart by The Men was going to be on repeat for a very long time, and it certainly has been since the day it was released in early March.  When the very first guitar riff on the track "Turn It Around" fell upon my ears, my hands went straight up in the air, and my fingers formed the infamous sign of the horns. Then came "Animal", and that invisible air guitar fell into my arms as my body formed itself into a crazy rock pose as if by magic. "Country Song" is just so beautiful and made me think (which I rarely like to do, but I had to make an exception), while the guitar-work and drums on "Oscillation" and "Please Don't Go Away" left me wanting to know and to jam with these guys so bad. The title track, "Open Your Heart", reminds me so much of the music from one of my favourite bands (The Buzzcocks), and "Candy" is something my dad would have introduced me to as a kid, if it had existed, which would have shaped my life forever. "Cube" is total madness and grinding metal, while the track “Presence” starts quiet, builds up with the introduction of guitar, then drums, then a low humming mantra; the song finally climaxes into pure, perfect, shoegaze-y noise. The album ends with “Ex-Dreams", and I’m left entranced with the sound of dual lead-guitars and crazy tuning reminiscent of Sonic Youth. Open Your Heart has everything and I don't say that often. In fact, the only other records that truly fall into my FUCK YEAH! music category are the Ramones first album and Exile on Main St. by the Stones.

Best Live Shows/Festivals

Duchess Says @ Club Lambi: Annie-Claude Deschênes delivered the best performance of spring 2012, hands down. I’m usually not one to mosh, but she left me no choice! Annie-C hypnotised and entranced me, and there I was dancing and jumping around like a crazed lunatic as the crowd became entwined in her eyes and infinitely-long microphone cable. Drummer Simon Says tapped his drum sticks to begin the song “Ch.o.B.", and my friend’s eye-glasses went flying off his face while the moshing and destruction of the band’s Church of Budgerigars prop continued. He miraculously retrieved his specs at the bottom of the sea of running shoes and sweat unscathed, which was quite the sight to see in-and-of itself. Duchess Says even topped Gogol Bordello, which I had said was the “best show I’ve ever seen” just days earlier. If it were legal to marry a show, I would be on my honeymoon with Duchess Says right now.

Other shows I attended, and loved, this spring:

- The Men @ Il Motore
- Gogol Bordello @ Metropolis
- Strange Boys, White Fence, Ty Segall @ Il Motore
- Maximum RNR @ Underworld
- CRABE + American Devices + Devil Eyes @ Casa del Popolo
- The Normals + Electric Vomit + Allan Fine (The Chromosomes) @ Casa del Poplo
- Jah Cutta + DJ John Lee @ Katacombes
- Trade Secrets + Archery Guild @ Your best friend John Jacob’s House
- Parlovr + Goose Hut @ L’Escogriffe
- Silver Dapple + Archery Guild @ Le Divan Orange

Summer Fun

This summer I’m really looking forward to Parlovr’s triumphant return from touring for Kook Soul to play Club Lambi on June 30th, the release of Hypnotic Knights LP by JEFF The Brotherhood (in pre-order right now) on July 17th, Sigur Ros at Osheaga (if I can afford the damn thing) in August, and getting to DJ for a really good cause at the Head & Hands Serve volleyball tournament!

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